University students currently live in a digital age, in which technology is an accessible tool for daily use and serving nearly every purpose. Books can be found and read online, drawing and designs can be created electronically, and most communication can take place online through messaging platforms.
Texting became a common way for communication since it can be done rapidly through smartphones, which are owned by much of the world’s population today. People may text each other with various levels of grammar and formality; some text in a few sentences, others in abbreviations, and some in lengthy paragraphs. What do NJIT students think of these texting styles?
After asking university students about their messaging habits, it became clear that texting is the most common way of communicating with one’s friends and family. Platforms such as iMessage allow direct phone-to-phone communication, while direct messaging through social media applications like Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger, and even Discord has also become popular. Connecting with people, even those who are far away, has never been easier; a message is only a few clicks away.
Students see texting in two different ways. One form can lead to a draining waste of time and energy, while another form can recharge and revive them. Answering text messages can be distracting when occupied with a task or irritating when the conversation is too uninteresting, leading to replies that only contain a short response or reaction.
However, there are some instances where texting can improve students’ energy. Having a witty conversation through texting and the usage of emojis can be entertaining. Additionally, exchanging messages with friends or family members can be refreshing and heartening.
As for the text messages themselves, each person has their own flourish. Some constantly use quick abbreviations like “brb,” “smh,” and “lol,” which stand for “be right back,” “shaking my head,” and “laughing out loud” respectively. Others add proper punctuation or capitalization, sometimes even ending texts with periods.
Overall, personalities can differ based on these small details, and noticing these differences can lead readers to interpret the text differently. For instance, a text that is fully capitalized would most likely get anyone’s attention, and they would take it more intensely. However, not all students worry about these strict-sounding messages unless they differ from the sender’s style of texting.
“I wouldn’t take it seriously; I just think it’s an idiosyncrasy of how they normally function,” said Bian Cabello, fourth-year chemical engineering major. If someone like Cabello receives a text and see that the style differs from the previous messages, then there may be a problem.
Between texting or talking in person, which is preferred? Even though texting is a convenient way to communicate, there are still some students who prefer it in person rather than on text. This is because texts may not fully express the emotion behind the words that are said.
“Sometimes, someone is mad at you, or you’re mad at them, and they have no idea,” said Imaan Ali, a fourth-year computer science major.
This is because messaging only shows the text, and not everyone perceives words in the same way. For example, when messaging two people “ok,” one might take the text as a sign that everything is fine, while the other could see it as a passive-aggressive response.
Misunderstandings can happen, and talking in person may give people a better idea of what another person is feeling. Although texting will probably continue to be a common and convenient way of chatting, there may also be value in seeing and hearing conversational partners directly.